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Written by Bridget D
(10/24/2009 2:52 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Age disparity, penned by Barb JA
Im just saying with regard to ELiza that in terms of the law, she was considered old enough to have sex, and if she had been properly brought up by the teachers and carers that Col Brandon provided for her, she should have known that it was wrong to have sex before marriage and that it would result in far greater suffering for HER than it woudl for her male partner... However she clearlry wasn't a very clever girl and was IMO portrayed as having hte same over emotional temperament that Marianne and her mohter had had, so it was all the more important, if she was to be ketp from harm that she shoudl be carefully guided... and IMO Col B was foolish not to have checked out the people she was staying iwht who clearly weren't willing to look after her properly....
With regard to Sophia being of age, yes at 21 she could marry without her guardians' consent, but still in general upper class girls were considered to be in need ot chaperonage and guidance. (because they had more to lose than poor girls)..even if they were older htan 21.. Even if consent wasn't legally necessary, socially it was considered undesirable for a girl to go against her parent's or guardians' wishes in such matters..
I dont think htat Marianne would have ever consented to sex before marriage no matter what the circumstances. She knew that it was wrong - but we see clearly that she was capable of behaving wrongly and stupidly in the matter of complying with the conventions about a young girl's behaviour. SHe and W were acting as if they were a recognised couple, who were engaged. And she knew that they weren't. she was getting herself talked about, and that could also harm her marriage chances. So Mrs D should have insisted on her being more circumspect wtih W and also should have spoken to W about his intentions. THAT is where adult guidance should have come in.
Similarly with Eliza, I dont think that she was "out to be sedcuced". She was problaby just being silly, enjoyng herself and having fun, and thought that there was no need for her to have a chaperone or that her "secret romance" with Willoughby, which the grown ups didnt know about was all the more exciting for being secret.... but secret romances can lead to more dangerous activities, which is why they were frowned upon....A girl with apparnetly not much brain, coudl be led astray,
I still think that Eliza was to blame, when the romance turned to seduction, but still there is a good deal of blame ot be heaped on her freind's father, for not doing his duty and guarding her...
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